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Giving Facts a Chance

In the early 1950s, a small Chicago-based religious sect predicted that the world was going to end on December 21, 1954. Their leader claimed to have received this information from an alien reincarnation of Jesus who went by the name of Sananda.

Their prophecy caught the attention of researchers from Stanford University, who decided to use the group as a case study in human nature.

Recently, author Chris Mooney wrote an article for Mother Jones magazine describing what the researchers learned. Since they were able to infiltrate the group to do their study, they were able to observe firsthand what happened when December 21 passed without incident.

First the researchers saw the confusion that occurred as members of the group tried to explain their mistake. Then the unexpected happened. The leader claimed to receive a new communication from Sananda. The new message was that the little group had not failed. On the contrary, they had saved the world from judgment by believing in the prediction. From that moment on, believers in Sananda were more convinced than ever of the truth and value of their mission. They adjusted their view of reality rather than admitting they were wrong.

So why is the study of this small religious sect worth thinking about? According to one of the researchers who studied them, this little group of fanatical believers remind us of a principle far greater than their numbers. “A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”

The article goes on to suggest that many of the disagreements that divide us are rooted in our natural instincts for survival. To protect our beliefs and emotional attachments, we push threatening ideas away and pull friendly information closer. This begins to happen subconsciously even before we are aware of what is happening. Self-protective reactions mobilize thoughts and emotions to protect our beliefs as if our life depended on it.

So a conclusion of this case study was that, “We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.”

In light of our natural aversion to both physical danger and threatening ideas, the article suggests an additional thought. Leading with the facts is not the best way to convince someone to change their mind. It is much wiser to begin by connecting with the values of the person we are trying to persuade—“to give the facts a fighting chance.”

Such findings might sound familiar to readers of the Bible. Jesus became a friend of social outcasts by showing how much He valued them. In contrast to other religious leaders who despised and condemned them, Jesus let them know that they were safe in His presence.

If He had acted as if their sin was more important than they were, they probably would have avoided Him like the plague or joined with the religious leaders who were trying to get rid of Him.

Later, the apostle Paul wrote letters that repeatedly called followers of Christ to reflect the attitudes of their Teacher, not only toward one another but also toward those who opposed them. For example, Paul encouraged a young understudy by the name of Timothy to treat everyone with the kindness, patience, gentleness, and reasonableness of Jesus (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

Admittedly, some of Paul’s letters seem to suggest that he could be stronger and more confrontational than his counsel to Timothy implies. On one occasion, he urged church leaders to protect the “flock” from “savage wolves” who would rise up from within the church to fleece the flock of God (Acts 20:29). Frequently, he wrote letters that encouraged followers of Christ to hold one another accountable for wrongs done against one another (1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:13).

So how then do we explain the fact that Paul could call for gentle kindness toward all and confrontation for some? One ancient church father by the name of Chrysostom (AD 347–407) answers that question this way: “A strong rebuke, if it be given with gentleness, is most likely to wound deeply: for it is possible, indeed it is, to touch more effectually by gentleness, than one overawes by boldness” (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, “Homily 6”).

In the spirit of Jesus and Paul, Chrysostom calls for the kind of self-control and kindness that makes it easier for others to hear what they don’t want to hear. It is the kind of approach that let’s people know that they are respected and cared for even when being challenged and corrected.

Father in heaven, forgive us for thinking we could ever admit the truth about ourselves or change the beliefs of others (2 Timothy 2:24-26). Help us to value and love others the way You have loved us, as we wait on You to change our hearts and theirs. —Mart DeHaan

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100 Responses to “Giving Facts a Chance”

  1. robert45 says:

    A very timely post in this current season of political discourse.

  2. poohpity says:

    The more powerful a person thinks they are it seems the harder it is to admit they are wrong. They push their beliefs on others because they want to be in control no matter whether those beliefs can harm another or not. To confront them in harshness is pretty much acting the way they are but a gentle answer can turn away wrath Prov 15:1 shows that the Spirit is in control of you. If the Spirit is in control of you then being corrected is a gift because we want to live by truth and facts. We may not be able to see ourselves as clearly as others can and especially if we want to be in power or control all the time.

    Humility accepts accountability and correction to restore us to a right relationship not only with God but with others around us. Valuing others as much as we want to be valued we can talk with respect and dignity especially in the difficult circumstances of truth finding.

  3. His Sparrow says:

    So, why did God fashion our ‘human behavior’ to behave like this? Is He the same way or is this human behavior an aspect of our given free-will? and why was it created to be so flawed?

    I know much draws and funnnels me to Him. But whew, how does He find us valuable if I behave like this???? Oh yeah, I don’t like being “wrong,” who doesn’t.

    I’m grateful for God’s mercy and the gracious gift of His Jesus to me.

    I love my RBC neighbors!

  4. poohpity says:

    I believe He made us like this so we could make the choice to love Him. If we are forced to love Him then it is not love. We are given free will to choose Him above all else if it is not free will then it is a dictatorship and we know how those turn out, don’t we?

    Nothing wrong with being wrong if we were never wrong we would put ourselves in the place of God but we are to humble ourselves and admit we do not know it all. It takes a bigger person to confess their need, they are not always right and they are not god.

  5. His Sparrow says:

    I get it! Thank you.

  6. Sakoieta says:

    Shé:kon, Friends:
    It has been quite awhile since I posted on here yet I often read the words written on these pages. I find the story Mart told to be very true, except from my experiences and perspective reversed in nature. I have met with, broken bread with and counseled with many Christian people who come to our reservations. I find when confronted with our beliefs as Indian people the mission workers follow this as a natural first reacition….”The article goes on to suggest that many of the disagreements that divide us are rooted in our natural instincts for survival. To protect our beliefs and emotional attachments, we push threatening ideas away and pull friendly information closer. This begins to happen subconsciously even before we are aware of what is happening. Self-protective reactions mobilize thoughts and emotions to protect our beliefs as if our life depended on it.”

    In studies that have been done, it has been realized that there are 17 different Iroquois communities and of those a high percentage of those people in the communities claim to accept Christianity, as well as many still attend the traditional Longhouse ceremonies. The reasoning for this as I have experienced it, is we are often faced with an either or scenario when working with the church and church mission workers. They come to build churches in our communities and are not into sharing those people the “convert” with the traditional community. So while many of our traditional people have nothing but the greatest reverance and respect for the teachings of the church and of God, and actully see the Biblical scriptures as a further revelation of what our ancient traditions teach, the mission workers do not share the same belief and look upon ALL traditional ways and practices as those belonging to the evil one. This is where we have difficulties that still today divide our people and communities that should not be there. This is where I have experienced denominationalism comes in and many times unkowingly takes the place of Christian love and biblical teaching. At that point and time I believe the message of the Bible has become subjective and hurts rather than heals. When gently confronting these mission workers about the switch we are told we are still caught up in the old eveil ways. “Old things are passed away and behold all things have become new” is the saying that is thrown at us more often than not. This is where I believe the church really needs to do a self examination of the message it brings and listen to the recipients and really hear their words, rather than as Mart’s story suggests, ““We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.” As an ancient people we still accept an ancient “old testament” style of worship and reverance for the Creator and have little or no problem with the message of the New Testament, only the packaging that message is wrapped in by the people who bring it.

    I have only shared this time because this story rang so true as to what is occuring in our Native communities. Please, friends, do not take my sharing as a way to tell me I am wrong or incorrect or need to be saved and use this formum to do so, as happened in the past on here. That is why I seldom if ever post.

  7. poohpity says:

    Hi my friend. Yes it so true for many of the teachings all of us have held so dear. I guess it works both ways when we are not open to learning and our old traditions get in the way of God changing a heart. As Christians a better example would be that of love and respect by being a better listener. Living what we believe rather than forcing our beliefs on someone else.

  8. paradocs says:

    The comments are steeped in care and concern. Mart, you noted the Lord’s approach to almost all people. He castigated the Pharisees. Why is that? Why didn’t the Lord use the same approach with the woman in John 8? Why did He leave a legacy with the Pharisees such as we have in Matthew 23?

    As to the facts and data, is it not possible (as I think it is), that FAITH has facts and reasons that reason and fact know nothing about? It seems to me we all have faith! We are, for the most part, wired to believe, trust. The question of the day: “Who do we trust?” In whom or in what do we place our faith?

  9. confeticat says:

    Appreciated your wise words, Sakoieta. The problem with “old things are passed away, behold, all things have become new” is that it just isn’t true. When we come to Jesus, we still have our pasts and he uses them. He says in the Old Testament that he restores the years the locusts have eaten. All things do not become new. He can use you as an Iroquois Indian in ways that he can use no one else – it would be a shame to lose that identity. Jesus wants us to ‘lose our lives’ – die to our own desires and be taken over by his. If any of your traditions are wrong, he will show you. You don’t need Christians to show you. Those who brought the New Testament to you have their own traditions they are hanging on to, like every word that came out of Paul’s mouth. If they get rid of those and follow Jesus they will connect with your values as he did.

  10. dependent says:

    Seems to me that one person’s fanaticism is another person’s orthodoxy. The history of the Christian church is a case study of this desire to “cling to the faith” that resulted(s) in countless competing creeds and doctrines.

    Perhaps this human tendency that the researchers reported is behind the all-too-common mistake of placing as much (or more) faith in our comfortable creeds than the Christ to whom the doctrines point.

    To me, the measure of my maturity in Christ has more to do with ‘fruit’ than ‘facts’ and developing a humility that reflects the certainty of “WHOM I have believed” rather than WHAT I have believed. (2 Timothy 1:12)

  11. jham777 says:

    What came to my mind while reading this article are the verses from 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”. Also Mark 10:15 “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And 2 Corinthians 4:4
    “The god (note the small g) of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
    Sadly, since Adam our human ways and thinking are selfishly formed to precepts we seem to carry through our lives. These precepts are widely varied throughout cultures, ethnicities, ideologies and education.
    The greatest form of love is Christ grace. His grace was not a performance but rather a humble act with a pure heart (the glory of Christ)
    Until individuals humble themselves as little children and pray as little children and seek God’s face as a little child would, they will not turn from their selfish wicked ways.
    We as individual Christians cannot be an effective witness until we humble ourselves as little children before God and fellowman displaying our love for Jesus in our speech and our actions.

  12. confeticat says:

    The last two writers are concerned, respectively, with the ‘maturity of Christ’ and the ‘glory of Christ’. Jesus is concerned about the person who was turned off.

  13. poohpity says:

    Does Christ need to mature? Or is it a maturity of faith that does not need to push the facts of our beliefs down the throat of another? Trusting that God will make Himself real to all those who truly seek and we in turn can concentrate on living what we believe then the Glory of Christ will be seen.

  14. confeticat says:

    Then you are saying God’s job is to make himself real to all those who truly seek, and our job is just to show the Glory of Christ?

  15. elainem says:

    This nonsense has been going on for ages, it seems — some mere human prophesying the end of the world, and setting a precise date… we all know what happens to false prophets.
    The Bible clearly says that no one knows except God the Father, when that day will be.
    As for me, I will leave it in God’s hands, and carry on, not worrying about December 21st, 2012! :)

  16. royalpalm says:

    Hello, Mart and friends,
    Thanks for this topic. and the various posts…

    History is replete with atrocities done in the name of God. Claiming to be Christians, countless people have done evil to force others to accept their own beliefs and ideas about God. Nevertheless, even those who truly know God and His word have been guilty of being insensitive and pushy, sometimes obnoxious, in their zeal while sharing their faith in Jesus. I have been guilty of committing this, and I am thankful that God is gracious and merciful, and still accomplish His own purpose in people’s lives despite my blunders- while patiently working in my own life.

    Sakoieta, I appreciate your forthrightness in your post regarding the facts that you have observed in your community. Jesus did say that unless one is born of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:3,6,7,8) John 7:39 assures us that each one who believes in Jesus will receive the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life will result in a spiritual change in that person – he who was spiritually dead is now spiritually alive, with new identity, understanding, vision, mission, and purpose – a new creation according to Paul in 2 Cor. 5:17.

    What style of worship is acceptable to God? You stated, “As an ancient people we still accept an ancient “old testament” style of worship and reverance for the Creator and have little or no problem with the message of the New Testament, only the packaging that message is wrapped in by the people who bring it.”
    Jesus actually addressed this issue in the story of the Samaritan woman (John 4:5-26) When she realized that Jesus is from God, she asked where is one supposed to worship – Jerusalem where the Jews worship or in Samaria where the Samaritans worship. (John 4:19,20) Jesus told her (and us) that the worshippers that God desires are those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth i.e, those who have the Holy Spirit, and who know the truth about Him.(John 4:23,24)I admire you and I praise God for you; I hope this post is helpful to you.

    A while ago, I had a disagreement with my teenage daughter and she turned away from me, as well as from the Lord. God has been gracious in leading me to find this advice from a book titled “When They Turn Away”
    1) Offer your heart to the Lord
    2) Turn your heart to your child.
    3) Draw your child’s heart to yours.
    4) Point your child’s heart to Christ.
    I use these guidelines in my relationship with my daughter (who is now reconciled with me) and also with everyone. When we love the Lord, we can love others. God can then use that love to draw others to Himself through us.

  17. confeticat says:

    Your post is a good example of pushing threatening ideas away and pulling friendly ideas closer. Here is a threatening idea: to walk in Spirit and in truth, as Jesus said, first be honest with yourself that you don’t know any creatures like the one in II Cor. 5:17, and neither do I. We are much more likely to encounter Swampy the alligator on here, and everywhere else. Jesus said, “Follow ME.”

    P>S> Formulas are man-made. You will have other spats with your teenage daughter.

  18. poohpity says:

    No confeticat, I was not saying anything like that about God and yes I was saying that about us bringing Glory to Jesus.

    It seems you have an issue about being a new creation in Christ. It seems that a factual statement may be that our lives have changed and pointed in a new direction thus being a new creation. I can only speak for what Christ has done in my life and it has changed my desires, where my focus is, the things I think about, how I see things and how I live my life differently than before I believed. However it is the same person in the mirror and I still mess up, perfection is no longer a goal nor do I expect it from others.

  19. poohpity says:

    That was wrong when I said “us” bringing Glory to Jesus, I should have my job is to bring Glory to Jesus.

  20. Sakoieta says:

    Again speaking from experience, being a person who follows the ways of peace as given to us by our Kaienerenko:wa or “Great Immutable Peace”, I have found especially with the internet not being the greatest tool for being able to communicate our thoughts, vocal tone, emotions, etc. That if we follow the ways of peace there also has to be a way that we can show this through the internet. This is where I believe as a Mohawk, who has constantly been misunderstood in word and deed I realize I have to be able to communicate how I define my beliefs in this limited manner as well as how I proceed to share my application of the same. This is where I often reflect as Job has taught, “look to the earth and the earth will teach thee”. I come on here as a Mohawk strawberry. But strawberries by themselves although delicious and sweet being my favorite berry, still are sadly lacking if I attempt to make a fruit salad. This is where I look for the Hawaiian pineapples, Navajo peaches, Ojibway blueberries, etc to join me in making a fantastic fruit salad that not only will be pleasing to me but to all others as well, still remembering that I want the fruit to retain it’s original identity, no fruits that have been put through a blender, removing almost all of it’s created form, taste, color, or texture, please. If we can come together as believer’s in a Creator and offer our words (definition) and our actions (applications) on the internet and off, as a thanksgiving ceremony to the Creator for allowing us to share these “fruits” of ours with each other and with him. I believe the day will come where there will be no hunger in the land. There will not be those who have and those who have not. It will be a sharing of the goodness He has provided to us for us to share with all, recognizing although I may like strawberries and focus my definitions and applications through the strawberry, others will like different types of apples, oranges, mangoes, grapefruit, etc and that will shape their definitions and applications. Never-the-less we will all be fed and be able to leave the table fully satisfied. When we stand in front of him on the day we enter the Sky World, He will smile, I am sure, and say very well done, You ate everything that was put before you and shared with you by others. No one left your gathering hungry. All were fed with the goodness I have provided.

  21. confeticat says:

    First to Pooh, Jesus would say to you as he did to Martha, “My dear Pooh, you are worried and upset over all these details!”

    Sakoieta, your fruit salad sounds yummy, but I’d be careful what I ate if I were you. One bad fruit will ruin the whole salad. Jesus said in Matt. 7:15-20, “Beware of false prophets…you can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Not everyone who calls himself a believer has good fruit. If one person’s ideas contradict another’s, then the fruit has to be thrown into the blender and lose its identity and you won’t get a very tasty fruit salad. And many times you didn’t know some of them well enough to know how they act.
    The day there will be peace and no hunger in the land is the day Jesus returns. We believers can’t bring that about, only Jesus can. But we can know him personally and feed off of him. He said he has food to eat that you do not know about (John 6:32-34).

  22. poohpity says:

    lol, con, no worries here I am more of a Mary kinda gal.

  23. His Sparrow says:

    I like the fruit salad.

    It’s seems to me that its the same as: we are all one in Chirst Jesus. We are the body of Christ-He the Head and each of us an identifieable part of the body, with a unique purpose and a oneness in our purpose…and our words and actions the Thanksgiving Ceremony to our Creator…wow!

    And yes,the internet is a very awkward, clumsy for expression…but a huge opportunity to interact with people I would never have a chance to where I live now-what a blessing!

  24. Craig Chilton says:

    There are many actual Christian ministers and ministries throughout the USA — as opposed to pseudo-Christian ones that are mired in supporting bigoted and ignorant agendas against the personal liberties of millions of people… purportedly in Jesus’ name. But unfortunately, almost none of the actual Christian ones have had the courage to expose the wrongness of the thoughtless radicals.

    YOU just DID that! And for doing so, I can’t praise you enough!! Christianity in America has been grievously damaged over the last 40 years by the misperception by society that Christians are hung up on social issues, and being hateful. Most Americans don’t take the time to distinguish the pseudo-Christian repressive agendas of the thoughtless from the actual compassion and teachings of Jesus. Your article helped to bridge that, for any who read it. I wish that ALL Americans could read it! And LEARN the FACTS. Kudos!!

  25. Sakoieta says:

    Confeticat, excuse me if I am incorrect, but I don’t think you quite understood the point I was trying to make, although you did bring up another aspect that does need to be considered. :) One thing I would add to your story though is that I find it would be very unlikely especially for some people who are wise to the Creator’s natural law and what He has created in nature to ever go to a thronbush looking for grapes or to a thistle looking for figs. That’s like going deer hunting in the woods while carrying a fishing pole hoping you land one. It just isn’t done. This is where we take the time to watch and watch those who come among us so that “by their deeds we will know them”.
    I remember a good friend of mine who did a lifetime of ministry with the Ojibway people when asked the best way to get a ministry started said, “the best thing you can do when going to a Native commuity is to get to know the community people but keep your mouth shut. They are going to watch you for a long time, since being decieved by so many from the church,finally after maybe three years if what they have seen has been good they will then ask you to start speaking”. This is definitely one way in which we determine what fruit is good and what fruit is rotten. But how many Christian workers do you know who can keep their mouths shut for three years if necessary. Most workers I know, have come into communities and then ruined future work for themselves by feeling they have the right to confront everything they see in Jesus name immediately before they even understand the people, the culture, or what they are seeing. St. Francis of Assisi said it quite well, when he stated, “preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words. Also are we not to be the face of Creator to our fellow man. I believe we can be the good fruit to not only our fellow human beings but also to the natural Creation as well. The teachings I have been taught say so. So I don’t completely agree with your comment, “We believers can’t bring that about, only Jesus can.” Although I believe I do understand your line of thought on it.

  26. confeticat says:

    Sakoieta, I’m sorry that I don’t quite understand your fruit salad. Your experience with Christians seems to disprove it. Are some of these fruits from people other than Christians? If you too were talking about the body of Christ (you didn’t say that you were), that is not so much a fruit salad as a fruitcake (with nuts). Jesus says his body was broken for us, so how are we his body? He says we are to eat it and live forever(John 6:48-58). Paul made this into a communion service and chided people for eating more (I Cor. 11:20-22), but Jesus says his flesh is food for the hungry and his blood is drink for the thirsty. His body is not to be worshipped on the cross, he wants us to partake of him. For instance, why he spoke of the trees the way he did is a good question. Take that up with him, meditate on him and on that and he will show you.
    Being the face of our Creator to our fellow man is a heavy responsibility I’m glad he didn’t put on us. Jesus has revealed our Creator to us (John 1:18).

  27. poohpity says:

    No matter what the race, we are all responsible for causing harm that is a undeniable fact. Our humanity is common to all no matter what. The ability to value and love others is not found in to many people, especially when we hold so dear to traditions without thought to the people concerned.

    The teachings of the bible are to treat others with kindness, compassion, empathy, gentleness, patience and love, that is what makes a fruit salad sweet to eat. Are we able to do that perfectly, no!! To strive for that is what will make our lives worthwhile and meaningful, not traditions. We have a lot of help to get there when we have the indwelling Spirit of God living within us. Many claim to have that but it is obvious when it is not present. Let those qualities be a reflection of how much the Lord has of us not the lip service of how much we have of the Lord.

    Have many who claim to have the presence of the Lord within them ruin things or caused harm, yes but that is true of any people group. The ability to admit when we are wrong, or have caused harm and ask for forgiveness comes from those who have been forgiven much but if we never admit to wrong doings then we seem to think more of ourselves than we are.

  28. poohpity says:

    To be challenged or corrected is a sign of love and if we hold steadfastly to things and not seek the facts we find ourselves believing every little thing that comes along. There are wolves that come in sheep’s clothing so we must beware and test things against truth and how do we know something is true when it stands against the test of time and experiences.

  29. Sakoieta says:

    Confeticat. These are people who come to our communities claiming Christ and saying they come in the name of the Lord to help us. To help us do what? To further divide our people with a new denomination who claim they are the truth and the light while other groups already there are wrong? We really don’t need that kind of help. But by watching them they soon prove they are not so much Christian as they are denominationalists. I believe there is a great problem with the church and it’s message today. But it cannot be fixed if the problem is first not identified and worked at together by all people affected. This is why I often find these sharing forums disappointing. It is so easy to preach scripture as an answer but all that is putting forth is what the Bible teaches, not what is often happening in reality in communities of the world. I do not come here to be preached at or have the Bible thrown at me. I come here to not only share the realities I have experienced as a recipient but to ask you who are of the church how can we in peace, mutual respect and friendship, fix it. I will agree there is much that is good that is happening but repeating your words Confeticat, all it takes is one bad fruit to ruin the salad. I come here to hear how are you struggling with the life of the spiritual community you are part of. If there have been difficulties like I share, how did you deal with them? What answers did you find? Did it divide people or draw them together? These are real answers that deal with real situations. I am well aware of what the Bible says about these things having been forced to study it for numerous years. But lets get real and talk about what is really happening. Talk to me, bro. I already know what the Bible has to say. Goodness knows I still carry the emotional scars from my learning experience. This is often the reason why when I talk to other Native people who are living lives given over to following the Creator they either leave these forums or are banned because they want to talk about realities now. How to undue and reconcile our two peoples who share this land with each other, not to have scripture always given as an answer. We know those answers. They are the Bible’s answers, I accept that. I too can put scripture on the table and say well the Bible says this and the Bible says that. But what do you say? What did you experience? What are your answers? What responsibility is being taken by the church and it’s members to reconcile rather than to defend. This is why I risked coming on here this time to post. Mart posted the title giving Facts a Chance. The Facts are, how do we deal with the situation of today and talk to each other respectfully? If this is just a forum that is only a Bible study where we can sit and share all day that Jesus says this and the Bible says that, then what efforts are we making to discuss and find out what the successes are as well as what part is broken down and needs to be repaired. I full believe that Mart didn’t fashion this site to be only a Bible study. If so, this continues to give us the definition of life and living but where is the application? My metaphor about the fruit was mainly about realizing that we each have different lenses created by our experiences in life that shape our reality and belief. To receive the benefits of that, like fruit that looks different and tastes different, if we can bring the good fruits together they can compliment each other very well. I would be the last one to use bad fruit to put in the salad. I very carefully inspect the fruit that goes in so the outcome will be good. but even before the fruit is put into the salad how was it grown. Strawberries need a different type of garden than raspberries. What preparations have we made to make sure the fruit is going to be good?

    Poohpity, my dear friend, the Wolf is my clan. :)

  30. poohpity says:

    And a lot of people are allergic to strawberries that is why they are not often put into fruit salad. Before most eat strawberries they are usually sweetened first by some honey or sugar then they are a wonderful desert all on their own. You mention so many problems with the church of the past and what they did to your people but your people also showed some really hard things to the white man as well in past times.

    We all have experienced hardships due to what some would call the good of the church or from church folks at least I have. But like many harms that are done to other human beings we must forgive because lack of forgiveness can cause anger, resentment and revenge. All peoples of the world have suffered at the hands of other peoples of the world and we can try and hold others accountable for their wrongs or admit the wrongs we each have done and try and make the world a better place to live in where we can all come together under a untied cause which is the good of all people in general.

    We all carry scars but to keep a wound open never given a chance to heal can cause future infection. Do we want to be healers or cause infections to continue? I would rather be a healing balm that helps a wound develop a scar than one who keeps a wound open causing pain, infection and suffering.

    My clan is a follower of Christ which is not stuck on any earthly delineation which causes separation and prejudices but unity in a common goal for humanity in general to work for the good of all. My mantra is to love God and to love others no matter the social-economic status, race, gender, or culture. Not to take those things away but to look beyond to their hearts which are all red and show kindness, compassion, humility, gentleness and patience just how I want to be treated.

  31. confeticat says:

    I feel your pain – I grew up in the Church too. I understand what you’re saying and yes, there is certainly a great problem in the Church today. In fact, the problem IS the Church itself and the foundation on which it was built. People affected by this have been working on it for centuries with no success, like God is dead an it’s up to us. It’s time to admit that we can’t fix it. The solution is not the Bible either, as you said. I use the Bible because Jesus is the living Word, and his words have life, but the Bible will never take the place of him.
    Christians will not only force you to study the Bible, they will give you guilt trips about staying in Church. I have no fresh realities of the Church (if there are any) to share with you because I have been out of the Church about a decade now. Nor am I am part of any “spiritual community”. Contrary to what they say, I didn’t become a coal that burns out when removed from the fire. I’m not of the Church because Jesus is not of the Church, and I follow him. You are one of the proofs that the Church was not meant to exist and does not work. You still carry emotional scars from your learning experience. A lot of people do, and what a grim testimony that is! I would think that church people would cringe when they hear that, but it has become par for the course for them. “Win a few, lose a few”.
    If you’ll excuse my going once again to the Bible (its misuse is behind all this), I think of the two trees as Jesus and Paul. The Church takes its primary teachings from Paul, the bad tree. Trying to pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles – Jesus purposely made it sound as ridiculous as you found it to be. They have the teachings of Jesus, who they claim (with Christ) as their Head, yet they pick Paul. He has something for everybody (denominations). He has fixes for everything (that don’t work). He has a Church family that share with each other (and trade their ignorance). He has what you are looking for, mutual respect and friendship. It’s not that Jesus lacks any good thing, it’s that his Kingdom is not founded on those things. His Kingdom is not of this earth or this world, but the Church is, and they call what they have in plain sight faith? I am tired of listening to Christians apologize for their inability to live as they should without considering Jesus’ way. We each have different lenses, and I must find the lens you are looking through? No, the answer to your last question is simple. Just pick the fruit from the good tree.

  32. poohpity says:

    It is so easy to see how much others fail and pick on their faults. It can take over one’s life.

  33. Sakoieta says:

    That’s interesting Poohpity, because Jesus identified with an earthly lineage. He was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. He not only spoke his own Native tongue, but was an enrolled member of his tribe and practiced the cultural ceremonies of his earthly family and people, as was his custom. I am not concentrating on picking a sore to keep it open but looking for that healing balm because with the majority of our people the wound has not even started to heal. Poohpity, where do you live? This land of North America was and is our homeland. Our people were defending our right to live and not be exterminated by newcomers who were not the Christian witnesses the church claims they were or are. I don’t want to sound disrespectful but please take a history lesson and study the true foundation of this continent. I recommend the book “American Holocaust” by David Stannard. We are still engaged in that context with the United States and Canada today, although today it is more subtle. Extermination of our people is taking place still today. This is a wound of a people created by God to be who they are and were created to be. Not a people to be destroyed by a people that we showed friendship to and helped them to survive when they arrived here on this continent. Let’s deal with Facts. That is what this line of posts are supposed to be about. Our people also gave the U.S. it’s first understanding of true democracy, something the newcomers had not seen in their homelands ruled by kings. But that is beside the point. I live on a reservation where there is a residential school in the nearby community. Our people call it the Mush Hole because that is all they were fed when they were forcibly taken away from their families, for years at a time when they were children. This was run like many of the other schools by the church with government approval. I live and work with people to this day who still speak about how they were raped, sodomized, beaten, punished on a regular and daily basis by the priests and nuns who ran the school for even something as simple as speaking their own language. They also still today speak about friends of theirs who were involuntarily sterilized so there would be no more Indian nits being born. They also still talk about children who were willfully murdered and tortured, who should be here with us today. We have our people hanging themselves at a great rate than with any other people. This is not something that happened in the far past. How do we today help them to find this healing balm that you say we need to be? The statement, “Your people really showed some hard things to the white man too.” really does little to justify this treatment. The truck is broken my dear and we need to identify and accept that and let’s see what it is going to cost to fix it. Ahh there I finally got to the real issue. Cost. Words and apologies by the governmentand church to our people do very little to relieve the poverty and treatment that the majority of our people face today. Again the words sound good but there is no follow up. There is no application. Yes there are some of our people who have used loopholes to create casinos, etc. and are now creating wealth for themselves. But those are few and far between. I didn’t come on here to pick on others faults. Do we pick on the truck because it fails to start or do we recognize their is a problem and it may be time to take it into the garage. The title Mart posted is Giving Facts a Chance. All I am sharing is an experience of where I see the church and American and Canadian society don’t want to hear or deal with the true facts because they then have to own and take responsibilty for their actions that have led to things happening today. It isn’t going to solve the problem by taking the truck to the garage, telling the mechanic the truck won’t start and have him telling you, “Oh your problem is this, all you need is new tires”. I am sorry if I sound too critical. But I deal in and with realities. Nothing of any great substance is changing for our people. There is still too much denial by the powers that be who still continue to make a good healty living feeding off our people’s displacement and poverty. That is a fact. Poohpity I do see you as a good friend. It may not have sounded that way with my post. But I do. I really believe from stories we have shared in the past that you are a true blessing who really tries to find your way in this world in a manner that respects all and honors your beliefs. Confeticat, many thanks to you for sharing your last post. Now that was speaking to me and I appreciate it. It is that post I really was able to understand things better. Niawenhko:wa

  34. confeticat says:

    Yes, Sakoieta, although he is God and Creator, Jesus identified with an earthly lineage. That is of great meaning to the Jews but I hadn’t thought about it in connection with the Indians. Niawenhko:wa for bringing that to my attention.

    I’d heard of some mistreatment of Indians, and of their heavy drinking and suicides, but the awful things you told about are beyond the pale. To think that these atrocities are done to your people in the name of Jesus makes me weep. That you still honor him is amazing and shows his power as well as your determination to find the Creator. You have pressed through the Mush Hole and picked up an education somewhere along the line.

    The Church goes overseas and preaches, yet they haven’t loved the people in their own homeland. Saying this is a Christian nation isn’t saying much. This country has a dark history in many aspects, it isn’t pretty despite the flag-waving God-bless-Americans that pretend otherwise. What hypoctrisy that to be politically correct we’re supposed to call you ‘native Americans’ because ‘Indian’ might offend you, after the ways your people have been treated! And things may never change for your people on this earth.

    You mentioned cost. It costs a great deal to follow Jesus, to really follow him. Your time, your money, your possessions, your family, anything that would come between you and him he will ask you to leave. Get to know him, don’t do the talking but listen to him speak to you. You become his slave, but you do it out of love for him. Anything worth having comes at great cost, and he is definately worth having. He returns your love and more. As you pressed through your circumstances and got an education, Jesus said to press through that narrow door that few find (past the Church Mush Hole) and don’t let anything or anyone stop you. You will then become the citizen of an unspoiled new country you can tell your people about, and your heart and your treasure will already be there.

  35. poohpity says:

    Like I said, it seems that things that happened many, many years ago are remembered like it was yesterday but fail to mention any of the positive things that have come from that debacle. Missionaries have learned from their mistakes and now go into different cultures and learn their ways and native language so that they can love the peoples and translate the bible into their languages. They no longer force their beliefs on the people but allow the people the freedom to make choices for themselves which is how love works. We all have freedoms to make decisions for ourselves when facts are presented. They learned from history.

    The fact is people who find fault and look at peoples failures often have troubles looking for the good in others and lump generalizations about all Christians or white people as if we are all the same which is not true. It is a lie. The fact is all human beings are pretty much the same and want the same things like, belonging, feeling loved, being accepted and cared for and it does not matter what our heritage is.

    You have presented a very good example of what this topic is about. When does the buck of blame stop? When does personal responsibility begin? It is not tires that need changed it is the engine.

    FYI if one would look back a few thousand years you might find we have common ancestry. ;-)

  36. Sakoieta says:

    Poohpity. That is simply not true. There are some mission workers who may do as you say, but in my 57 years of experience the ones I have met like that I can count on my fingers. The majority still come with a denominational assimilationist message. When things that have happened in the past still continue today why are people so reluctant to admit it? When does the buck stop? Read your Bible and tell me what David had to do to stop the drought that was in the land as a result of Saul breaking a treaty he had made. I live as a recipient of the policies inflicted against our people by the governments of the US and Canada. For you to tell me those of today have no responsibilty for the past is like telling a brain surgeon to remove only the latest growth of the tumor and leave the rest since it has been there for along time. Where as I would expect the neuro surgen to go for the whole tumor so real healing can take place. The reason I do the work I do is because I keep looking for the good in the church, the government and all people but neither am afraid to confront the demons that have been brought on my people by those same institutions. I worked for a ten year period with a Native Ministries organization doing work for them and did networking with many different denominations and my experiences rang true every time. In that job I got to meet thousands of mission workers in the U.S. and Canada as well as other parts of the world. I finally fired them because I could no longer be a part of the racist methodologies and methods they used in “preaching” the gospel. They fired me because they claimed I was too pagan and needed to circumcise myself of my culture or anything they told me didn’t fit into their theology. This is why our people have had such a difficult time with the church and other institutions because they don’t want to really hear our stories or listen to us. They just want to continue the denial and that way they can go to bed at night saying they did the right thing. They did what they believe Jesus told them to do. Stop the denial and either let’s decide to fix the vehicle or get rid of it and buy a new one that works.

  37. foreverblessed says:

    Sakoieta, I am very sorry for all the damage that has been done to your people. Over here in my country they are still busy with the subject of slavery, saying sorry for it. There is going to be a museum in Amsterdam that remembers the slavery. Slavery was stopped somewhere in 1860 or so. That it takes so much time. What about compensation? How is that going to be done? Investing in the islands in the Caribbean. But it doesn’t work. Maybe because a good well-meant sorry is still missing.
    The sexual abuse of children in church boarding schools is all over the world. In our country it is just these past years that the church is starting to admit things were wrong. Not all priests did it, they think it is not more then 3 percent. But the rest did nothing to stop it.
    You talk about what David had to do, he had to kill descendents of Saul, I do not think that you can literally do all things that are adviced in the Old Testament, it is Jesus that died for our sins. So maybe you are right, a very well meant sorry is the key, and letting the sacrifice of Jesus count for the death, and asking God what the compensation should be, If we pray in real humility He will tell what should be done, I know that for sure. But many government people are not real believers, so they would not hear what God says. But church people can say sorry.

  38. poohpity says:

    I could be wrong but there was no drought during the times of Saul and David recorded in the bible.

    Yes there are missionaries all over the world that do not force the message of the Cross on anyone. God does not work when one is forced to believe, that goes against everything that is taught about our faith.

    Like I said in the past people have done things against the message and those we have to be aware of to recognize them by having the foundation of God’s Word is imperative. God puts the desire on our heart to read the bible no one is forced to read it and if someone does force it on someone then stay away from them. We can not listen to everyone who comes along claiming to be sent from God we have to check it out (personal responsibility). We are taught to test those who say they come in the name of the Lord.

    I do things all the time I wish I had never done that is why I do not point people to follow me but to follow the Lord, look to Him and read His word. Human beings are fallible and imperfect even you Sakoieta make mistakes and do things that are wrong.

  39. confeticat says:

    Sakoieta, I guess you’ve written me off already, but one sentence you said stands out to me. “I keep looking for the good in the church.” Why? Isn’t the definition of insanity, trying the same thing over and over with the same results?

  40. Sakoieta says:

    Confeticat, I don’t write anybody off. :) You are right. The reason I keep at it even though the results are always the same, is because these people keep coming to our communities on a regular basis believing God has commanded them to save the poor Indians. We are almost forced to work with them. Poohpity, yes I make mistakes quite often but the difference I find is I do not deny that I made them. I own up to them and work to make restitution to the party or parties that my mistakes may have hurt. As for the Biblical passage read 2 Samuel Chapter 21. How does one stay away from the people forcing them to read the Bible when the people doing the forcing have been given total control over the children that were taken forcibly away from their parents and family? If you refuse to obey the priests and nuns, leave the school or run away you are hunted down, beaten and in some cases murdered. Poohpity, my dear, I don’t want to belabor this at all but you really need to study and read what really happened to our people and please stop making excuses or making statments that are made due to unfamiliarity with the situation we have faced and still face in our communities. I work as an educator. But like Mart’s title and original story shares. I am giving cold hard facts based on the truth of our people’s experiences with the church. Reading your posts on the other hand as I read them, please tell me if I am wrong, I find, as the story above shares, you are trying to adjust your view of reality rather than admitting it may be incorrect. Then it continues along to “A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.” This is why we are still not finding the healing we need from the U.S. or Canada. for the breaking of the treaties and agreements that would have us on equal standing with all other people on this continent. I could go on and on but I think for myself enough has been said and shared for this topic. It is time for me to cease. :)

  41. confeticat says:

    Sakoieta. The people that you are almost forced to work with and who have control over the children, keep looking and you might actually find something good. Then what? Will it be good enough? They will still be doing more harm than good. Once upon a time there was a woman in this town who kept coming to the judge and saying, “Please protect me from the man who is trying to ruin me.” For a long time he refused. But later he said to himself, “This woman is such a nuisance that I shall give judgment in her favor, or else her continual visits will be the death of me!” Notice how this dishonest magistrate behaved. Do you suppose God, patient as he is, will not see justice done for his chosen, who appeal to him day and night? I assure you he will not delay in seeing justice done. Yet, when the Son of Man comes will he find men on earth who believe in him?

  42. poohpity says:

    Sad thing is Sakoieta how long ago did those things happen and you are wrong saying that I am making excuses for anyone who does horrible things. Even when I read the comments on your facebook page your own people confronted you on your lack of forgiveness and continual focus on the past. Adding insult to injury, holding on to hate may be the way you chose to live your life but please do not accuse me of not knowing about the plight of your peoples. I have read much and listened to many Native Americans of many nations not just yours before I ever knew you. I have also read about many that have risen above the anger and hatred, living their lives free from the past while never forgetting but making a choice to help those make their lives better and not living with blame any longer making a choice for Christ which does not demand one to loose their roots but to honor them. There are horrible stories about Native Americans doing to Native Americans too.

    It may be a good thing for you if you think your people are the only ones who have been badly mistreated by people in general look at those who live in Rwanda, Iraq, Somalia and the genocide of hundreds of thousands along with physical atrocities like cutting off their female parts, arms, tongues, ears to women and children that makes what you are talking about look like a tea party and that is happening today so fight for them too. Christians have come to their aide and still do. Look what people have done to Christians in China, Syria, Egypt, and other Muslim countries not only in the past but today. Look what has happened to blacks in South Africa and in the USA in the past as well as today.

    People all over the world have caused such harm to each other for centuries so the way of Christ which you seem to look down on is to treat others the way you want to be treated. To show grace and mercy even when people do not deserve it, that is the way of Christ. That is how I chose to live my life and no I do not do it perfectly but at least I try. I will never make any excuses for anyone who does wrong to another human being and I will forgive even when no one admits they have wronged me.

  43. Sakoieta says:

    Poohpity, to answer your question. Some of these things happen every week. Just a short time ago there was an incident in the states where a young girl was kicked out of her school for speaking her native tongue. So how long ago did these things happen? I can’t believe after the discussion we have been having that you would ask that? Also I do not live my life in hate. I follow our teachings of peace and have a very happy life. I actually am one of the few who continually offers a hand of peace to these people who come and often they are the ones who reject it, because I am a traditionalist. I wear my hair long. I follow the ceremonies of my people. The reason I share these stories is because most of the workers who come to our communities have never heard these things and they come in claiming if our people would just accept Jesus everything would be wonderful. They don’t know that it was with and in Jesus name being spoken that these terrible atrocities were done and committed. They then wonder why people are so reluctant to get involved with the various religions here on the Reserve. Then when they are told of these things that happened, there is always the denial and then the attempts to change the reality that occurred. (Oh, it couldn’t have been as bad as people tell us. The church wouldn’t do that). I write strong words, but they are not angry words or hateful words. That is what makes these conversations on the internet difficult. I am not angry at anybody nor do I hate anybody nor do I look down on anybody. I address problems that need answers so that hopefully we as a people can find our way back to a sense of peacful co-existence. They are words that are just saying, “Here is what happened to our people”. Lawrence Hart who is a Peace Chief with the Southern Cheyenne of Oklahoma and also a Mennonite Minister used to say, “Yes we need to forgive always but never forget and we need to make sure those of the church are told so they will always realize the difference between mission and inappropriate interference in our people’s culture, custom and lifestyle.” I used to do a lot of work with Lawrence and still follow this advice. Every new group that comes to our community approach the longhouses wanting to “work” with us. Some do in very respectful ways. Others start that way until we walk a little bit down the path with each other then they little by little start trying to circumcise us of the things in our lifestyle and culture they do not understand and want removed in order for us to be acceptable to them. So many times that is where we have to part paths with them and ask them to leave. The sad thing is they often have been invited in by our own people, who are intergenerational products of these schools where Grandpa and Grandma went, as well as mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, they have little or no knowledge of their identity, culture, customs, language and look at it as evil. It causes further division in our communities where there are already 20 different churches all fighting each other over converts and causing fighting among our people. Also I do not look down on the ways of Christ as you stated, but I do address the problems that the churches who claim to represent Christ cause because of their focus on denominationalism rather than on teaching the teachings of Christ. You have so totally misread me. The difference between my people and all these other people is North America is our homeland and it has and is being taken away and we are being destroyed in the process. Can you not see that? Anyone who has come here to this continent if they begin to become too Americanized or Canadianized and want to learn more about their family’s culture can go back to their original homelands across the water to find and to receive these things. Where do we go as North American Indian people when it has all been taken away? Can you not see we are in a fight for the very survival of our people? or should we just stop, lay down and say we will accept being eradicated from the earth?

    Confeticat, yes many times, with all these issues, all we can do is to do ceremony to put these issues into the Creator’s hands for him to bring forth justice in his own time. I strongly believe though that when we encounter people we should always show them respect as a person, but if we experience bad behavior we need to address those behaviors that hurt or harm. If it has been our behavior then we need to accept responsibility for it, look at how we can make restitution for it, seek reconciliation with the final hope of restoration of the relationship being something good and honorable.

  44. Sakoieta says:

    Tea party, Poohpity? Shame on you for dismissing us in the manner you just did almost, as a bunch of cry babies crying over spilled milk while the real world and those who are important are the real ones suffering. Take some time and read the book I recommended. Take some time to read about the Massacre of the Cheyenee people at Fort Ribinson and how the main leader of the Cavalry was a Christian minister, who then allowed his men to rape, kill, cut off women’s private parts and use them as hatbands and men’s parts to be used for tobacco pouches. In Europe it was seen as being prestigious to have a razor strap made out of the skin of an Iroquois Chief. These are words that I share, strong words but words to only wake people up to recognize the holocaust that took place here, to our people, was no tea party. These events are what eventually shaped the government’s Indian policy that we face today. Yes the people who did confront me on my Face Book page were several people who are fully assimilated relatives of mine who believe the best thing we can do is leave everything and just be good Americans or Canadians because that is where the money is. Your words are insulting. How dare you relegate our history as well as our experiences of today, to being a Tea party. There is no further need for me to continue on this forum. I wish you well, take care and keep the peace.

  45. Sakoieta says:

    One final thought, who is committing these atrocious acts in Rwanda, Somalia and Iran? That is the difference. You say the Christians are there to help. It was the Christians who committed the acts of genocide against our people where millions lost their lives as a result even some of that residue carrying over to the early 1990’s. Poohpity, in 2 Corinthians it says we have been given a ministry of reconciliation and that He has committed us to the word of reconciliation. How can there be reconciliation when the denial of what occurred is as strong as what has been shown here in these posts. I work for reconciliation of our two peoples so that we can live in peaceful co-existence. But denial of what has occured and how to let it continue to reoccur in governmental policies of today is not part of reconciliation. To heal a disease we look to where and how and what caused the disease to invade the body in the first place. Then we work to change things so the disease does not reoccur. Do you know there are still laws on the books today that say if three or more Indians gather in one spot it can be considered a war party and we can all be shot? Now that’s some Tea party.

  46. confeticat says:

    No more of this! The heart of the whole problem: my last response and Pooh’s showed the difference between the way of Jesus and the way of Christ.

  47. poohpity says:

    Sakoieta, I does make a lot of difference about the harm caused to any people group by any other people group and I was not down playing the harm to your people and if it is still happening it is good to know that you still fight for their rights. You are so right about the internet being a hard forum to understand the difference between strong words or hateful ones.

    You speak about things that Christians have done bad to your people and I speak about things done bad to other people that Christians have helped or the things done to Christians just because the believe. Christians are my tribe and while I do not agree with many things they have done to harm there are also many things they have done to heal as well. Those who have helped peoples all around the world without shoving their beliefs down any one’s throat which are the one’s following Christ and living what He has taught.

    This shows the problem with generalization and lumping everyone into mold. It just isn’t true. Your many, many words show your passion against my tribe and it saddens my heart that your experiences have been so horrible but I can not change what others have done, I can only make sure my heart is right with God and I do the right things which I know ahead of time will not be perfect by I will try to do good with the free will Christ has given me.

  48. kingdomkid7 says:

    I am relatively new to this forum, but I had been reading it for months before I decided to say anything. Even now, I mostly read and absorb and pray about what I read. I only want to say something now because I think some reconciliation of what seem to be conflicting views is possible. I see Pooh as saying that it is the human condition, the state of fallen man, to destroy one another. But Jesus is the great repairer of all that is wrong with us, no matter how horrendous. The Bible supports what Pooh is saying. If it seems that this view diminishes the specific suffering of Indian people, it doesn’t. It simply points to Christ as the real answer.

    I understand Sakoieta’s point, but it is placing ethnicity and culture ahead of Christ, and that we cannot do. I used to do the same thing as a constitutional scholar — and a black woman. I focused more on what America did to black people and less on the freedoms that come with knowing Jesus Christ. So it really is a choice. My cultural history has to give way to following Christ. Where those things can coexist peacefully, I allow them to do so. But I will put nothing ahead of Jesus ever again. And by the way a lot of what many of my people do is pagan. I had to renounce it. period. Perhaps this seems harsh. But it really isn’t. My life is saved because I lost the old one. I leave it up to God to decide what will happen to my people. I do my part in the black community, but I will never show my greatest allegiance to that community over my allegiance to Him. One more thing: God owns all of the land in this world. When He gave the Promised Land to His people others were already living there. Just a thought about who is really in charge.

  49. poohpity says:

    confeticat, you are right there is difference in our words. One speaks from a heart that has yet to forgive and one from a heart that has been forgiven.

  50. kingdomkid7 says:

    Pooh, I wrote before I could see your post above mine. I totally agree with what you are saying. All we can do is pray for people to come to that place where nothing will be elevated above their membership in Christ’s tribe.

  51. poohpity says:

    It saddens my heart that something that is so very beautiful and wonderful can be so trashed by looking at people rather than the message. Being a member in Christ’s tribe helps people embrace their heritage rather than taking it away. We have the freedom to be who God created us to be not to take away our roots but to see God made each person to be special and unique. To give facts a chance means we can also look at things through the eyes of Christ rather than our eyes that are veiled in prejudices and alienation. It is the heart of each person that matters and all peoples of the world have red, beating hearts. We are all God’s creation and there is more than our little villages when we consider the bigger picture that we are all part of. Problems come from people trying to control other people and that is not the message of the bible and when that happens one needs to be aware and stay away.

  52. confeticat says:

    ‘Kingdom Kid’ — It’s taken a long time to get to you as few of us are good at doing two things at the same time and I know I’m not. I commend you for your thoughtfulness before you speak, that is rare. Your last thought was, who is really in charge? and that is a great question. “No one can serve two masters”, Jesus said. This will be new to you but God knows we need something new, he promised a new thing and I hope you will think on it. The Church has been trying to follow two very different leaders, Jesus and Christ. They both cannot be the same answer. We have come to a fork in the road. Jeus is the Messiah, but he is not “the Christ.” Christ, the Greek word for Messiah, is a mythical figure that was inserted into the Bible (God allowed it)with no royal lineage and who the Church has set up. “He” is the reason the salt has lost its seasoning. Jesus did not come to repair. “Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other!” And yes,it’s just like him even to divide himself. Christians tend to blame all division on Satan. No, that’s Jesus, the Son of God! Even in opposing him, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed (Luke 2:35).

  53. royalpalm says:

    Kingdomkid7 and pooh, thank you for your posts; I agree with you. It is the sinful heart that is the source of evil. Evil happens in homes, schools, communities, countries – irrespective of ethnicity, culture, race, politics, and religion. We need to look to Christ, who did not commit any sin as our model. (2 cor. 5:21)

    Sakoieta, I work as a substitute teacher in a native high school here in Canada and your posts about the injustices done to your people are not new to me; they are taught in the school. What happened in the past cannot be undone but the govt. is trying to prevent it from happening again through education, restitution, compensation, etc…It must be said that there are natives who are cruel to their own people- leaders who squander funds meant to help their people… There is the freedom of choice – in this native school the students are bussed from the reserves to the school, have free breakfast, have allowance for attending school, have teacher aides for extra help; have 16students to 1 teacher ratio, have a full time attendance clerk to phone parents…yet only a small percentage finish the school year successfully. Those who desire to succeed work hard to obtain it; others don’t care.

    This is also true in our relationships with others. When we dwell in people’s mistakes it is hard to love them; our bitterness and unforgiving spirit poisons us. How much better it is to look at each person as God’s creation with all the potential that he can be if he truly knows his Creator and Savior. However, without the experience and knowledge of God’s love, forgiving and loving others will be a constant struggle and disappointment.

    You talk of Christians, missionaries, etc. who fail to live up to the principles of Christ – this is not a surprise. We have the nature of sin ; like our physical bodies, we need the blood of Christ and its power to continually cleanse us and empower us to reflect Christ like character.

    The work of God in reaching others is given to each believer. If by faith, you believed what Jesus did for you (He loved you and died to pay the punishment of your sins) ; then by God’s grace you are reconciled to God and become His child, a member of His kingdom. You are given the message of reconciliation and are Christ’s ambassador especially to your own people. 2 Cor. 5:14-15; 16, 17, 18-19, 20-21. Ephesians 2:8,9,10.

  54. kingdomkid7 says:

    Confettcat, I will think about what you have said. It does not resonate right now. Maybe it’s the 100 degree temperatures I just walked in from!

  55. kingdomkid7 says:

    Had a chance to cool off just a little bit, and I have to disagree with you Confettcat. Jesus was talking about God and mammon (money) when he said we can’t serve two masters. He said we would love one and hate the other. See Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13.
    On Him being the promised Messiah, the witness of Peter (and Anna & Simeon at his birth) all make clear that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah. See Matthew 16:16 and Luke 2: 25-38.

  56. confeticat says:

    Royalpalm: Yes, the source of evil is the sinful heart. You used some phrases heard quite often among Christians, “we need…”, “it is hard to love them”, “a constant struggle and disappointment”. A person truly born again of the Water of Life and the Spirit does not have the nature of sin. Jesus did not intend for his children to live that way. The message of reconciliation is not meeting somebody halfway. Reconciliation is God’s own completed act (John 1:11-13). Jesus only uses the word once and the meaning is not a mutual agreement such as Paul was talking about but winning you over completely. I will tell you about the word meanings if you are interested. You and Pooh seem to think that Sakoieta’s main problem is unforgiveness. I must tell you that expecting all the Indian children to care and to work hard to finish the school year successfully is a more subtle form of unforgiveness.

    kingdomkid: Jesus was talking about money but he used the common sense illustration of not being able to serve two masters to show what he was saying about money! I said Jesus is the Messiah, the word ‘Christ’ has been inserted. if you look in a Jewish Bible, you will see it’s ‘Messiah’ in both of the references you gave. With Satan’s approval Christ has taken on a life of his own – he has become the Church’s Superman.

  57. kingdomkid7 says:

    Matthew 1:16 in the King James version says “And Jacob begat Jospeh the husband of Mary’ of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”
    The word Christ in the Greek seems to be Christos from “chrio” — to anoint or anointed. The word is also used (according to my Greek dictionary) to refer to others acting as redeemers. I don’t buy any grand conspiracies that would try to explain away Jesus Christ as being One and the same. Peddle that one elsewhere!

  58. confeticat says:

    Why do you call yourself “kingdom kid”?

  59. poohpity says:

    What difference does it make what she calls herself? Typical way of deflecting or trying to control.

  60. poohpity says:

    The reason one may see one has unforgiveness in their heart is if they bring up the same issues repeatedly over a long period of time. It festers , boils and consumes a person’s life that is how unforgiveness manifests itself. Giving forgiveness does not mean a person forgets but the longer it is brought up there is no healing because a person seems to carry around the trespass which does not hurt the person who does the trespass but hurts the person carrying the load.

  61. Sakoieta says:

    I wasn’t planning on posting here again, but felt the need to provide clarification to a few statements that have been made. Poohpity I do not hate the church or Christians. It is like I stated earlier I am only trying to create an awareness of the history of my people and some of the church’s work with my people that has gone bad from day one. Unfortunately the church is in such a state of denial that it doesn’t want to hear from the recipients who have had the gospel preached and have problems with the manner in which it was presented. You speak of being Christ’s tribe. That is good. I am only saying some of your tribe are renegades and need to be corrected. I continuously work at forgiveness. For you to state or believe otherwise really shows me how little you have understood of my story. You mentioned all these things happened long long ago and why am I speaking hateful words about your tribe. Well let me share further. In 1974 I was attending a Bible training school. There was myself and one Lakota man, and several other Indians from one of the tribes. The school was basically all white in a town that claimed to be all Christian. They let us know they did not appreciate us being there. It was known that if we left school grounds and went uptown after dark, if we were caught we could expect to be roughed up. Well one night I went up town to stop in a store and went through the back alleys so I wouldn’t be seen walking on main street. Well I got caught and I got a beating to where I almost had to crawl back to get to the school grounds I was beat so badly. This school only fed us Monday through Friday. On the weekends if we wanted to eat we had to hire out to work for farmers in the area. They would work us hard but feed us on Saturday and then the way things were is they would also give us a Sunday meal, but inorder to receive it we had to attend one of the four churches in the area with the family. Well after being beaten on a Friday, I went to work on Saturday and then very reluctantly went to church with the family on Sunday. At the church they always had a welcoming line. When I walked in three of the men who had beaten me were standing in the welcoming line welcoming people. When I approached them, with a little smirk on their faces they welcomed me and thanked me for attending their church. This was one instance that I experienced your tribe. My best friend was the Lakota man, a youg man who attened at this school also. They had many problems with him because he had very long hair and was very proud of who he was. Well one night he got caught and a group of these men from your tribe staked him down outside of town, cut his hair and his head with their butcher knives and cut his arms as he tried to defend himself. So they staked him down and began to skin him like an animal. He died from blood loss and as a final gesture of hate they slowly pushed a knife into his heart. No one was ever charged for this and it was never investigated. It was knaown the town sheriif hated Indians and would twist the law to find a way to charge us rather than the good Christian white folk. It was basically one drunken Indian found dead. He was a Christian and believed in the Bible and the church. 15 years later I was asked to speak in that community at one of the churches. I was asked to come to speak about Native Spirituality and the Christian church. It turned out to be the very church I had walked into many years beforeafter being beaten. Ironically some of the same men were still there. When they saw me they approached me and asked for forgiveness saying 15 years is time to realize how stupid we were in the things we did when we were younger. We stood eye to eye and embraced each other and accepted the peace. They told me if I am ever in that area again please do not stay at a hotel or motel but let them know they would be only too happy to host me at their houses. When my youngest six and a half year old daughter died many years later from terminal brain cancer, my wife and I received a basket of many type of flowers from them sharing their grief over the loss of my daughter with my wife and I. Even when we buried my daughter using traditional Mohawk, Ojibway and buriel rites of the church I had people from the Christian churches in town telling me my daughter was burning in hell because I used those eveil “Indian” rites of burial and also the reason she got cancer and died was because God was punishing me because I had sinned by living the lifestyle I live as a Mohawk man. I have conintously worked with a sense of peace with these religious organizations. Everything about my work and life has been based on forgiveness and working toward reconciliation and restitution. Even today I still am willing to work with these organizations when they come to my door. We work together very well. If it were not for my willingness to follow our Great Law of Peace that the Creator gave to us, I would not be able to function. I read the follow up posts and it became very clear that you people have not understood anything I put forward only made excuses as is usually the case. Sakoieta is inforgiving. He hates my tribe. He can’t let go of the past. People please clean your lenses and realize all my posts were to help you become aware everything is not all rosy and please quit whitewashing our mutual histories or as Poohpity called it a Tea party. Yes it was a real Tea Party to find my friend dead and skinned like an animal. It was a real Tea Party to go to the grocery store to buy groceries and have people approach me right there in the stores and demand i get on my kness and ask forgiveness for sending my daughter to hell. It was a real Tea Party when I was being beaten by good Christian men. Poohpity I have no hate for you or anybody. But neither when I work with these organizations will I allow them to white wash things. If we are going to work together as brothers and sisters of faith, we have to work in Spirit and in truth. Policies have been put in place that are racist against our people and many of the churches support these policies rather than speak out against them. The only person responding that I have felt understood where I am coming from is Confeticat. Kingdom kid, I remember Lawrence Hart telling a group of ministers how he embraced Christ. He said very quietly. I am Cheyenn. God has give me a culture and a way to show my love, respect and reverance for him, though my culture. In order to honor Him in the way He made me. I have to be Cheyenne first and that allows me to be a Christian. he was not putting ethnicity before God but revealing that when God created people of different nations. He has put paths in those cultures that allow the people to seek and they will find Him, because He is not far from anyone of us. I follow the paths that Creator has put before me. Like I said earlier this internet is not good for communication. If you each met me personally you would find I am a very happy and spirtual man. We would become friends quite easily and you would see I am able to discuss anything even the most terrible things in a very safe and even tempered manner, many times even using humour to express a point of discussion.

  62. Sakoieta says:

    Even now, looking at the last several posts you people are wanting to pick a fight with each other.

    Here are words spoken to Missionary Cram, when he was trying to Cram his religion down our throats….
    These are the words of “Red Jacket”, Chief of the Seneca to missionary Reverend Cram from the Boston Missionary Society at Buffalo Creek 1805:

    “You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to His mind, and, if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it was intended for us as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given to us, and not only to us, but why did He not give to our forefathers the knowledge of that book, with the means of understanding it rightly? We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white people?

    Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the book?

    Brother, the Great Spirit has made us all…we do not wish to destroy your religion or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own. . .you say you have not come to get our land or our wealth but to enlighten our minds. . .you have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what you have said.

    Brother, you have now heard our answer to your talk, and this is all we have to say at present. As we are going to part, we will come and take you by the hand and hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey and return you safe to your friends.”

    As the Native Americans began to approach the missionary, he rose hastily from his seat and replied that he could not take them by the hand; that there was no fellowship between the religion of God and the works of the devil. This being interpreted to the Indians, they smiled, and retired in a peaceable manner

    Yes this is a long history. It happened long ago but the words could very easily be spoken today. What has the church done to rectify it? Again not an accusation or words of hatred but only questioning. As Indian people we continue to extend a hand of peace, despite what people tend to think or believe. Like Confeticat shared, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Then definitely we must be insane because we keep extending the hand of peace to the church and government hoping for a different ending.

  63. poohpity says:

    They weren’t from my tribe they were from a tribe that “says” they are from my tribe but were wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. There is a big difference in the beliefs I have which follow the one who died for my sins which have given me the freedom to allow you to be you and me to be me. I do not look at the skin or hair I try to see a person’s heart which I have seen yours and know of the love you have for others and it comes out in the beautiful music you play. Please quit lumping us all together by using generalizations and see us each as individuals so that we each can be known by the fruit of kindness, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, joy, peace and love. We are not all like what you have said that is a lie there are those who truly walk what we believe, not saying we do not mess up but each man/woman be known by the life they live.

    I was not there in 1974 so it was not me who did those horrible things so please do not hold it against me just because I call myself by the tribe of Jesus Christ. Let the past go and push on toward reconciliation even if those who did those horrible things never admit to it and ask for forgiveness. If it would do any good for me to ask for you to forgive those cheap imitations I would. Please forgive them because they really do not understand the fullness of the damage they have done to you and your people and for the cause of Christ. It seems you are still in bondage to their behavior, release those chains that bind you it is only harming you. Do not look at man’s futile attempts but find joy in the fact that even the things you have done wrong have been forgiven unless you feel you have never harmed anyone.

  64. poohpity says:

    One thing is for sure you certainly are not a man of few words. :-) Why dwell in history when we are given today to do good and bring peace.

  65. poohpity says:

    If I remember right I sought you out after the last time there was trouble when you posted here. I extended the hand of peace for a while it was nice and then after a while it got bitten. All the negativity and battles were to depressing for me, so I stopped the feed.

  66. Sakoieta says:

    Poohpity, I am not lumping you all together but in the same way ask you and others to quit lumping us Indians together. If you read back a few of your posts you will see you did exactly that. I never bit your hand only asked you to open your eyes and see the truth for what it is. I am not going to lie to you about things that happened. In some ways I still believe you still are refusing to accept what I have said. I would gladly use few words if my words were believed and accepted. But they aren’t. They said they were from the tribe of Christ as well. I only told you then you have renegades. LOL. Watch out for renegade Christians. You will know them by their deeds. I do not blame you for anything that happened in 1974. So by saying that you have renegades how am I lumping all of you togeher? You are making statements that I believe have little foundation in only the experience I have had, none other. I am merely answering your posts about all this happening such a long time ago to let you know how incorrect you are in your statements. I have tried not to generalize in my statements. In most I have named the people or mentioned it was an organization so that I would not be accused of lumping all of you together and as you say so I don’t have to say so many words. But when you defend you are using generalizations to refute my stories. When did I ever say you are to blame as you have said..”I was not there in 1974 so it was not me who did those horrible things so please do not hold it against me just because I call myself by the tribe of Jesus Christ”. So you are making statements. i am merely telling you in my experience they are not factually true. That is the name Mart gave to this series of postings. Giving Facts a Chance. You and the others with a few exceptions have been refusing to do that. All I have read here is every excuse in the book that I have experienced many times over. It is so easy to say Sakoieta is hateful, Sakoieta is anti-Christian, Sakoieta is wrong. Sakoieta is unforgiving. It is so easy to make me out to be the enemy rather than just accepting may be Sakoieta is sharing stories we need to listen to so that if we every have to work with Indian people we can do so with integrity and work together to help with all this healing that should take place that you keep talking about. I recognize there are many good Christians doing good work. Many of them are still friends of mine. I have little or no use for the Church because it has taken on the context of being a business rather than a place of healing but my contacts with Christian people are relationships that I hold near and dear. But I refuse to let the church or individual Christians whitewash our mutual histories when they come in wondering why when they preach Christ it makes many of our people cringe and run. It is not because we are given over to the devil or are spiritualists or animists as we are often called or because we hate the the church. It is because not enough work has been done with many of our people where they can accept that the Christ being presented to them is any different than the Christ who was presented when they were being abused by the members of the Church. I will say again I do not hate you. I recognize there are good Christians as well as bad. Why won’t you open your eyes and heart to see that I am not attacking you? I am telling you stories that need to be heard by the church. Eeven a good business man will test his product with the recipients who buy his product to see if there are ways to improve the product. Why cannot the church also then listen to the people who have been recipients and they say this is what is wrong with the message. Please fix it. So why are you taking responsibility for something others did in 1974. I didn’t accuse you of these things. Why are you asking me to forgive you for their deeds? That is not your responsibility. That responsibility belonged to the churches and individuals of that community. But they went one step further and began cultural awareness gatherings with Indian people so they would learn their history and be able to work with them in ways that helped both communities to grow. They did take responsibilty for the sins of their fathers. Something that I find few churches willing to do. They do not take responsibilty for what their churches have done when renegades among them acted inappropriately. You mention negativity. What is negative about interacting and sharing stories unless you refuse to accept the stories being told. I just got done sharing a story of how those men and I came together as brothers in the faith and forgave each other and you change it to accuse me of still being in bondage to the behavior of these men??? Now that is what I call having a spirit of negativity. Look. Open your eyes. I don’t hold grudges. I only share stories that are true because you can’t seem to find a way to accept my reality. I am too lazy to hold a grudge. LOL. I see these conversations are really going nowhere. I will cease and desist. I am just disappointed that I feel you have blinders on so bad that you cannot accept anything that I have to share or offer in good faith.

  67. poohpity says:

    Who is the one who really has blinders on?

  68. cherielyn says:

    I am aghast! I could barely read the last few posts due to the tears!

    It breaks my heart, deeply, to not only read Sakoieta’s posts about what happened in the history, even recent history, of the Native Americans, but the responses to it as well. Surely God must be groaning, if not shedding tears Himself.

    I went on a bus trip to South Dakota in 2008 and visited a Native American Museum. It broke my heart to read the stories of how the Native Americans were pushed from their lands into ever smaller and smaller reservations, one broken promise after another by our government. However, it IS not only the history of the USA, but of the world as well…………one nation taking over another. History continues to repeat itself, even to this day. Nothing will be perfect until King Jesus comes to rule.

    My family emigrated to the US from Sweden in the early 1900’s. Still, I AM SO SORRY, Sakoieta!

    BTW, I have a very good friend who is half Native American. We met when she was the new kid in my class in 5th or 6th grade. We became good friends right from the start and our friendship remains to this day – 47 years after we graduated from high school.

  69. cherielyn says:

    There is so much more I would like to say, but my heart is so heavy that I can’t even find the words to express my thoughts!

  70. cherielyn says:

    It is easy to say, “Put it behind you. Live for today!” But, it is quite another thing to be able to do so.

    One thing that comes to mind is military personnel returning from the battlefield. It is not so easy to forget atrocities that have been witnessed. They suffer from PTSD – many for the rest of their lives. There are things that get permanently etched on the human brain that time may never be able to heal in this present world. Only when we ultimately receive our new bodies will those who have been so traumatized be able to be rid of horrific memories.

    I am overwhelmed with a myriad of unexpressable feelings even though I was not even an eyewitness to, or a victim or perpetrator of the things I have read here that were posted by Sakoieta.

    Sakoieta, you and your people are in my prayers – as well as the rest of this ‘community’ who post here on a regular, or even not so regular basis. I love all of you – flaws and all!

  71. cherielyn says:

    An old song just came to my mind: “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” and some of the words come to mind:

    If I could be you, if you could be me
    For just one hour
    If we could find a way to get inside
    Each other’s mind

    If you could see you through my eyes
    Instead of your ego, I believe you’d be,
    I believe you’d be surprised to see
    That you’ve been blind

    Now there are people on reservations
    And out in the ghetto
    And brother there, but for the grace of god
    Go you and I

    If I only had the wings of a little angel,
    Don’t you know, I’d fly,
    To the top of a mountain
    And then I’d cry, cry, cry

    Walk a mile in my shoes
    Walk a mile in my shoes
    Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse
    Walk a mile in my shoes

  72. Sakoieta says:

    I am very curious. I would like to hear from Mart to see whether he believes “facts” were given a chance. As I look back over the posts that were placed here. I don’t believe they were. Looking at the Posts on the Gambler, it’s back to the typical Bible study that really brings out exactly what Red Jacket was speaking about in 1805. People who can read the Bible fighting over what it says. For the record I have never had a problem with what the Bible says or the message it brings. I believe the Creator needs no defending. He is fully capable of revealing himself to anyone who seeks him. My problem has been only with some of the people who claim to bring the Biblical message to my people as a message of freedom and salvation and it has instead been a message of abuse, lies, deceit, racism, marginalization, genocide and bondage to a form of religious belief that is anything but holy or Godly. They are very good at bringing forth the definition as is seen on the Gambler’s post. But fall far short when it comes to the application that I felt I received on this post. Mart I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

  73. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Sakoieta, sorry I am not Mart, but if I may say something, look at the post just above yours, doesn’t that one count? And I myself am very very sorry for what happened to your people, in fact this whole thing stays with me since it was posted.
    I am sorry for all the people who still come into your reserve without admitting the facts of history.
    When I was young I read a lot of indian stories, Old Shatterhand and Winnitou, and other books. What a free life, roaming over the prairies. Living in nature. Just in tents.
    That life is gone, even that fact alone is hard to swallow. May God bless you in other ways, a free life, maybe not roaming over the prairy, but free in spirit, despite the fact that many people do not want to see the facts about your people.

  74. Sakoieta says:

    Foreverblessed: I thank you for your words, but the reality is that these things are not gone. My people are woodlands people. We still spend much time in the woods. Not all Indians are the same. I don’t want to sound disrespectful but even this year a community in Canada called Attiwapiskat was headlined in the news because the government was refusing to honor treaties made with these Algonquin people and as such they were living in broken down housing, tents and garages and facing -30 below winter weather. Because of no running water or adequate sanitation little children were developing bad body rashes. The school itself on that reserve had been shut down for several years due to the Governments lack of wanting to fix a problem it had created. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is another prime example of government promises that have been borken again and again and the result is keeping a people in poverty. There are many examples that verify this rather than examples that show how things have changed for the better. The reference to David having to deal with Saul breaking a treaty was referring to an understanding that when treaties are broken, before the Creator will restore the land, He wants to see something done to atone for the breaking of a treaty. This is a part of the Bible I don’t see people discussing, in fact you were the only one who addressed it. The others went back to making excuses as to why I am holding onto the past, being unforgiving, etc. What a joke. I personally believe that we will never see prosperity in the U.S. or Canada like it could be until the governments of this land and it’s people make these broken treaties right. I do not wish to offend anyone or insult anyone with my postings. I am just trying to help people to understand that this issue of these treaties and the way the churches, governments, educational institutions, etc. have refused to accept their responsibilties for addressing them is a Biblical requirement as found in the story of 2 Samuel. There is almost no desire to undo the damage that has been done to the North American Indian except to accuse us of holding onto the past, being unforgiving, being hateful. Yet I see the U.S. and Canada willing to spend billions of dollars to undo damage that has been done to a different peoples in foreign lands. And people wonder why the U.S. and Canadian ecomomies are going down the drain. The “rains” will not come until atonement has been made and that is Biblical.

  75. foreverblessed says:

    Sakoieta, that is right it is better to talk here. Only time is getting late her now, 11.15 at night. I do not know how long I can stay awake. It is your intention to explain something?

  76. foreverblessed says:

    Tomorrow morning I will read what you wrote, good night, and God bless you all

  77. Sakoieta says:

    Have a good rest. Blessings of peace to you.

    In regards to your other post on the Gambler. Our people have gone through an experience where the name of Jesus was used to commit acts of genocide, assimilation, land theft, rape, torture, everything you can imagine that should have never been done. When I have had young people from churches come to our reservations to do work. I have told them unless you can do your work and make reference to the Creator here you will find your work is in vain. Too many of our people were taken away from their families, and terribly mistreated in the schools that were run by the churches but anything but Godly or Christian. That is why I suggested people read the book American Holocost and they would see the history we are trying as a people to over come rather than hold on to or let go of. Just coming in and preaching Jesus and expecting people are going to be welcoming isn’t about to happen. There has to be a connection where we can find a basis of understanding and agreement with each other. That is where we go back to the Creator. From there we can rebuild and hopefully begin the process of reconciliation. But too many of the churches refuse to get educated to the damage that has been done so how can relationships be renewed if an assessment of the damage has not been done for the sake of finding the necessary method to bring about healing of broken trusts, treaties, agreements and life itself.

  78. foreverblessed says:

    Sakoieta, your you have a condition: reconciliation with the white people who are christians for the past damage.
    There is a part done in Jesus’ name, and a part that is done just because the land was being taken by white people and had nothing to do with christianity. If God, you call Creator, wanted other people then the native people to share the land, then He wanted that, and there should have been made peace and then peaceful cohabitation should be possible.

  79. Sakoieta says:

    Oh Foreverblessed, I don’t want to disrepect you or anybody but I have to honestly say these words you share show an uneducated, uninformed and clueless response about the history of our two peoples. Just reading these words shows me how uninformed and uneducated these statements are in this area of study. These statements that have been posted are making assumptions and statements based on that lack of knowledge. Here you and others have the chance to get educated. Read the book I recommended, “American Holocaust” and then we can talk. Until then you will not be able to understand anything I am speaking about or why I speak about it. I do not have any condition other than working at reconciliation between two peoples. From reading all other posts there is clearly a condition of denial of the true history and lifestyle of my people and the history of this land because it looks like none of you have taken the time to study it and then as a result statements are put forward that are false, nothing more than assumptions and uneducated beliefs and guesses. But both groups in order to work at reconciliation have to know why we are working at this process. It has to be based on accuracy and truth. From reading your last post I realize we have almost nothing to talk about in this regard. I’m sorry for that.

  80. eladnanna says:

    Wow! I am distressed by the back and forth attempts to have the better answer. So many defensive “Yes, but …” retorts… so little real listening. So many Bible Bandaids (in my country a Bandaid is an adhesive medical plaster or patch) … so little broken-hearted compassion. Sakoita, as a white-skinned South African who sees your pain duplicated again and again in my own country, I, the offspring of racist collonialists deeply and shamefully feel your intense pain. Debate can never heal those wounds and I am driven to the foot of the cross in my desire to be filled with the compassion that was in Christ … for that “heart that was in Christ” is the only answer. It won’t erase the horrendous past but maybe we will, each of us, find release as the oppressor and the oppressed just crying together (both giving and receiving)without trying to justify the irreversible, horrible, tragic past. If peace is to be found … it will only be found as we become agents of Christ’s compassion. May Colossians 1:27 be our reality … not our Bandaid. Love, Elad Nanna

  81. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry Sakoieta for disappointing you. Sorry. As Elad writes I pray for a heart of compassion for the state your people are in, for the broken dreams, for the damage done. I pray for all traits in our character that we lack, that it may be filled to the overflowing. So that we can indeed cry together about all the unjustice done.

  82. Sakoieta says:

    Foreverblessed and Elad, I hold no grudges against any of you or any one. I am a professor who teaches four classes each year on Native American studies. I teach roughly about 150 to 175 new students each year. There has been a real miseducation that has taken place in Canada and the U.S. where very most if any of the history of the United States and Canada and the part our people played in it has been taught in often a very derogatory manner. Each year my new students are quizzed at the beginning of class and I am amazed at how uneducated they are in regards to this study. The course I teach cover history, treaties, culture, customs, language, and inter-nation relationship with the U.S. and Canada. After only a short time in the course I have students asking why the United States and Canada have not honored agreements made with Native North Americans and what we are going to do about it? They come to understand that a great legal injustice has been done and needs to be rectified and healed. When I suggest that as a people we have been asked to just let go of the past, by some, to quit hanging on to our past by others, to just quit causing trouble and accept assimilation processes by even others. These students get angry and furious stating quite trongly they hope we never do these things but continue to seek justice for the injustice that has been the 500 plus history of the continent of North America. Believe it or not just recently the government of Canada released it’s control over a set of lands it had illegally take away for several hundred years. It has taken that long for Canada to accept the facts it had stolen land from a group of Natve people and then only because the case was in court for so many years and that things people thought happened long ago are over, they are not, they still continue to this day. I only share these things to help people understand that if people come together to work on these issues through either physical, spiritual or legal means, both sides have to know each others stories and accept them as told in order for the work to be done truthfully and honestly so that we have the real understanding if need be just to be able to really cry together.

  83. Sakoieta says:

    Have you noticed none of the original posters have come back to talk about these things anymore? They instead moved over to the Gambler post where they can preach to each other how much each one knows the Bible more than the other and tell each other how wrong they are in their beliefs. I came on this forum to be able to do a littl:e bit of educating and just like last time very few want to be educated so that changes can be made between our two peoples. I haven’t received an apology from Poohpity for calling the attempted annihilation and eradication of my people a Tea Party. Nor do I expect to. These are typical reactions our people get from most church people all the time.

  84. SFDBWV says:

    Hello Sakoieta my Mohawk friend, it has been a while since we last talked and as you have already stated very little has changed.

    It sickens me and I would imagine most any person who has any sense of right and wrong as to the atrocities perpetrated against the Native peoples of the Americas including both the North and South American continents as well as many Polynesian peoples throughout the Pacific Ocean.

    If an apology from me could heal all of the wounds suffered by all those affected I would gladly give it now or at any time it could be accepted. Sadly though my apology has only the power to begin to heal one on one.

    It also saddens me that you yourself Sakoieta have endured hurts and pains that has left you embittered and harbored with the weight of un-forgiveness.

    You are a proud man and I do not say that as an insult, but rather as a statement of your being a man and of being true to your heritage as a Mohawk.

    So I would not insult you by attempting to suggest that you take any advice I may offer. So rather than do that let me say that I hope someday in whatever way it is possible for you to do so that you are able to put the past behind you and move forward with your life in building a better world for you and if possible your people.

    I know Sakoieta that the past is what has shaped us today, but neither you nor I can change anything that happened so long ago we can only learn from it and become better people for it today.

    I almost never go back to old topics and only have here because it is you and I wanted to offer you my hand once again and hope we can understand and respect each other.


  85. poohpity says:

    Wow must be nice to sit as a judge, criticize and condemn.

    It was a comparison to what is happening “now” in Africa and the genocide in other countries not to make what happened to your ancestors any less horrendous so should I apologize for your misunderstanding. I was in my feeble attempt after much discussion about how badly I have felt about what your people have gone through, told to you back many months ago, to tell you try and look beyond your back yard to help people all over the world who need support but again you took what was said out of context to affirm how badly “YOU” are treated not do to your own behavior but to the short sightedness of others.

  86. poohpity says:

    Have you ever offered an apology to Mart for hijacking his blog?

  87. Sakoieta says:

    Oh Poohpity, give it a rest already. Hijacking Mart’s blog. What a joke. I have done no such thing, read the title of this blog. Giving Facts a chance.
    Steve I do not hold bitterness and unforgiveness toward anyone. I have only stated the facts. Poohpity in her state of uneducated bliss calls the things that happened to our people things of the past and tells us we should have gotten over it. Well all I did was share a story telling how they are still continuing today, in fact right this minute. Efforts at our people’s destruction and efforts to eradicate us she calls a Tea Party. I don’t misunderstand what is happening in other countries at all. I just focus at what is still happening in ours. Mart still hasn’t responded to me about anything although I have requested it. When did he give Poohpity license to speak for him?

    I have listened to her words and meditated on them. They are the same that I have heard for 57 years from other Christian people who refuse to be educated about the histories of this land. They believe everything was settled long ago and can’t understand why Indians are asking for justice today. Well they need to open their ears and Give Facts a Chance so we can together bring about healing. Until that happens all we are faced with in our efforts to find healing for our people is denial and a cintinuation of the same old, same old.

  88. Sakoieta says:

    Come visit me and you will see how happy my life is and Poohpity, I would be only to happy to give you the strongest hug I could give, kiss you on the cheek as I do to people I honor and tell you how good it is to finally meet you. Steve, the same with you, well maybe not the kiss on the cheek part. LOL. Then we could have a good talk because I would be able to take you places to show you what is happening in the real world for us as Indians. So Like Bob Barker used to say on the Price is Right. Come on down!!! LOL.

  89. Sakoieta says:

    For the record. In my classes that I teach I have mostly non-Native Students, some Native students, Islamic students, students who claim they are agnostic and atheists. I am a very gentle and kind teacher. We open each class with prayer and close it the same way. Students study the material and then we open every class for discussion. Students share their faith. They share where they have been persecuted for being a Christian, for being Native, for being Islamic and Atheistis, etc. Everyone’s views and beliefs are respected. Students have told me time and again how much my classes are the best they ever attended because I am more a participant than an Instructor. We talk about real issues and talk and share about how can these issues be resolved and healed. I have had students who came in not believing in anything and when they leave they tell me how through my classes they have found faith again. This has made my classes some of the most popular on campus. I share readings and videos and let the people in these readings and videos share their stories more than me telling anybody, this is how it is. We pray for each other, cry with each other, shed tears over the stories that are shared. I have Christian kids bring in the Bible. Other kids bring in teachings for their cultures and together we learn from each other. There is no denial of stories or kids being told their experiences are wrong. Many of my students keep in touch way after they have left my classes because of the genuine love, respect and kindness they received in my classes. How is that setting myself up as a judge and jury? It doesn’t happen. All I have tried to do in these blogs is present information that is historically accurate and true, the good and the bad. That is what I do in a nutshell. So the misunderstanding has not been on my part. I and my people live in two worlds. The one is the one everyone else knows, what it means to live in the United States and Canada. The other is one we know what it means to live as an Indian in our world with all the good and the bad that has occurred and how do we survive as a people many times having to stand against this other world. Believe me when I say I have misunderstood very little and have been tolerant of much. Experiences do not lie in either world.

    Even when I extended the invitation to come and visit it brought tears to my eyes. Just imagining being able to greet you both just literally made me weep at how good it would be to extend my hand of friendship to you and to have the time to sit and hear your stories that I know have not been shared here on these posts. I know you all have not had easy lives. But peace to me does not mean there is no conflict. It means peace has been achieved through listening to each others stories and finding ways to assist and help each other. Beside I also make a wicked BBQ’d chicken that most people who try it never go back to any other kind. I would love to cook for you and feast with you, pray with you, cry with you and in the end part in peace with a renewed friendship.

  90. poohpity says:

    Please do not lump me in with the others I mess up enough on my own.

  91. poohpity says:

    My youngest son’s girlfriend is of the Navajo Nation, out west here the Natives are also not immune to the travesties done to them and is still happening but in all the rumble and harm she has found rest and actually caused my son to look to the Lord as they attend college groups and church activities together. She has yet to tell her parents she is dating my son because he is not excepted by her family. Just breaks my heart. So prejudices can go both ways I am afraid to say.

  92. kingdomkid7 says:

    I just want to say I love my new BTA family. Each and every one of you. More later!

  93. poohpity says:

    What Mart stated about the finds of researchers, I would have to agree with, ““A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”

  94. kingdomkid7 says:

    That’s an apt quote, Pooh. Sakoieta, you sound like a cuddly kinda guy. ;-) Though the Internet is an imperfect mechanism of communication, I see your kindness and warmth in what you say. I also see your pain in not understanding why people do not simply concede to the errors of the past. I know from experience that the pain of not being “heard” can sometimes seem to hurt worse than the original physical or emotional injuries that we’ve suffered. Having said all of this, I still urge you to make a choice for Jesus Christ over all else. What I mean is that the people who hurt you — and who hurt your people — will have to answer to God for what they did. Those who misrepresented Jesus will have to answer for it. But you will have to answer for how you responded to the call of Jesus on your own. And Jesus requires that you choose Him, without mixing His message – – the Good News – with cultural additions. I suppose the only analogy in my own culture that I would make is to Kwanzaa. Lots of black Christians celebrate Kwanzaa, even though it is a non-biblical tradition, because it makes them feel better about themselves. Well, it’s not OK to do that, because much of what Kwanzaa is about is anti-gospel. So it becomes a choice: culture or Christ? For me, the choice for just Jesus has been liberating. It doesn’t mean that I don’t remember history. It just means that I am not bound by it, nor by whether anyone admits their guilt to me or my cultural group. I don’t need reparations from the government, because my needs are met by my Savior — with a redeemer like Jesus, the government can go on its merry way. Vengeance is mine says the Lord. I will let him exact any punishments which might be due — including the “punishment” of someone having to simply admit that a wrong took place. What if they never recognize their sin? Will you be bound waiting for an apology or for restitution that may never come?
    But either we believe that Jesus is the way the truth and the life or not. And if that is what we believe, then nothing else really matters and all else must fall away. See John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Colossians 2:8-9; 3:11; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:14-16. These are just a few scriptures that deal with what I am trying to say. I do pray that God will heal you so that the emotional wounds can go away. Blessings to you all.

  95. poohpity says:

    Godly, happy people continuously evaluate and improve themselves… Ungodly, unhappy people continuously evaluate others!!! Matt 7:1-5

  96. Sakoieta says:

    Well Poohpity, Have you ever stopped to think the Navajo girl your son is dating may lose many of her tribal rights and responsibilites if she “marries” out?
    In order to protect tribal lands and their own people different tribal nations have had to put laws into affect in regards to marriages to outsiders only because the U.S. governemnt has done the same to subtly eradicate Inidans. There are laws in the states and Bureau of Indian Affairs that state if a young Indian woman marries a non-Native she is no longer legally a native and all of her tribal and nations rights are stripped from her. She can never live on reservation land again. She cannot live near her family. Her children are considered to be non-Native and cannot take part in any of the cultural traditions her people practice. She basically loses her identity. So it isn’t so much prejudice against your son as it is efforts at preservation of a people and culture that the U.S. is still trying to subtly destroy. And I thought you with all your knowledge would know all this. Hmmm. Oh and For your last two comments my dear, mirror reflections?

  97. poohpity says:

    The fact is prejudges work both ways. One does not have to lose their roots to be in Christ but people can embrace who God created them to be without the government influence and dictation of where they live and what benefits they receive that is government influence not Christ’s. She does not live on the reservation nor do her parents. It is the government that has given the Native peoples the shaft and Christian’s realizing how badly they are treated went to those reservation to try and give them hope in their feeble attempts and lack of understanding long ago.

    Yes the last comment were mirror reflections, I mess up lots and try on work on those issues but I will never be perfect so I offer an apology and ask God to change me. I wish I were different in lots of ways and I try my best to not be critical because I lived that all my life and know what it feels like to have every flaw and failure pointed out and none of the good. I work hard at not being like that but it comes out often and I am so grieved when it does.

  98. Sakoieta says:

    Poohpity, I should have been more clear. my comment about mirror images was more a reflection that I am aware with some of my comments, when I look back at them that I also am looking in the mirror, not just you, my dear. :) Skennen sanontonnion. Peace to you. :)

  99. poohpity says:

    And back atcha, that is peace I mean.;-)

  100. caymanstar says:

    hi mart,
    i like your comment on the Man who has a conviction. But at the end of the whole episode, are we to gently tell him the truth or go away and pray that we are to become like Christ and not be confrontational and let God be the Judge of it all.
    To me, this is so unfulfilling and so frustrating.
    Can we tell him and many like him that no one can know the exact time for His Coming, except to be prepared and ready for Him everyday.

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